Interviewing CC Plus’ Managing Director Mrs. Lamia Kamel

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Starting off as a small PR boutique, and then going on to creating campaigns for international companies and presidential candidates, CC Plus has attained substantial growth throughout the last few years.

Reaching even further, they are now organizing their Narrative Summit on October 17th that aims at promoting a positive image for the country as well as encouraging the idea of “Nation Branding”, and which will be attended by local and international key figures.

In order to gather more insight on the PR firm and their upcoming event, we interviewed their Managing Director Lamia Kamel.

Please tell us a little about the 2017 Narrative Summit scheduled in October that aims at building one nation brand.

Well, as you know, last year’s Narrative PR Summit adjourned with a small hint on nation branding. We brought the concept to light this year and incorporated all aspects of society under one umbrella: crafting the message and reputation of our nation. With over 30 speakers joining us, our narrators – as we like to call them – include corporate, government, NGO and international speakers.

This year’s pillars that we will discuss all fall under the umbrella of Nation Branding. We will be exploring the tourism industry as well as that of entertainment, technology, national prominence and so much more.

Narrative this year vows to become an inspiring epiphany to PR professionals.

How important do you believe it is for Egypt to promote “Nation Branding” at this point in time?

Nation Branding is currently crucial for Egypt to help erase misconceptions and negative stereotypes about the country, which have been going around for the past three to four years. It would also help Egypt attract tourists, stimulate inward investment, boost exports as well as build its reputation with an aim of influencing foreign affairs.

Egypt needs to be positioned as the center of the region and the leader of transition.

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Egypt has potential in the fields of Investment and entrepreneurship, as well as others. What opportunities do you believe will rise from this summit?

Last year’s summit introduced PR as a whole to Egypt, with many sub-groups underneath that umbrella, which opened people’s eyes to the effect public relations – or even a normal social circle – can have on our lives as well as on our enterprises.

I believe that the opportunities we have gained from last year’s summit will arise again this year – and hopefully even better ones. It could lead to more investment opportunities in Egypt, be it by sole traders or by enterprises. This gives Egypt a voice and a chance to tell its story to the world.

Altogether, this narrative will get a good word of mouth going; thus boosting and improving the country’s reputation.

How is it forecasted to better our international image? What are some of the short-term and long-term effects you are expecting out of this event?

When a nation keeps rebranding itself, the message reaches simultaneously both the citizen of the other state and their government, therefore, the government should not only target the other government but the public as well. The immediate post effect, in my opinion, is the digital response the event will get from both those who attended and those who did not. People will be talking about it within their circle.

The first phase is the post-event awareness regarding Nation Branding. People will do their research and possibly contact us to grasp the subject a bit more, and so on.

However, in the long-term, this Summit will not only enhance Egypt’s external communications, but people will be knocking on our door. They will have a road map ahead and will want us to put it into action, which provides the right perception on the state by highlighting investment opportunities and investment stories.

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Seeing as CC Plus began as a PR boutique, would you have expected taking on such a significant role in promoting the country’s international image?

Well, as much as I had faith in us reaching the top of the scale in terms of PR, I did not think we would escalate this far and this fast in just a decade. It is crazy to see how far we have come since we first opened to where we are today. We have an outstanding record of successful campaigns with big names such as Nestle, Ericson, Nile Radio Productions and Sony Mobiles.

But in all honesty, I think it became clear where we were heading after working alongside H.E. Amre Moussa and H.E. President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi during both their campaigns.

That was truly the kick off that put CC Plus right under the spotlight.

How large is this summit in comparison to some of your previous PR projects? How is the planning process and how do you prioritize tasks?

To begin with, CC Plus is the sole financier of this event. It is our investment from our own creation; not someone else’s.

Tasks are carried out based on their importance and how they affect the Summit. Do they add to it? Do they bring it to life? The planning starts by creating content in terms of what we will be discussing, what the message is and through which means we will deliver it.

The Summit is about creating content without the need to sell it. In order to achieve this, we need people who see the vision of the Summit, and by that, I do not mean sponsors; I mean people who are willing to participate in making this event successful because they see its future outcome.

Also, instead of looking for a speaker, we find the topic first then the speaker. If we tie ourselves down with who is speaking rather than what they will be saying, we could be stuck forever.

How would you say the creativity of business campaigns have changed in recent years?

They have reached a much larger existential scale. Their new slogan is “less consumerism, more relevance”; meaning their content has to be more socially relevant to their audiences.

People nowadays think about how brands are part of people’s lives, not the other way around. It is consumer centricity, not brand centricity. That was not necessarily obtainable ten years ago.

Marketing executives no longer talk about “reach” or “impressions” as measurements of success, but they instead aim for “conversations” and “engagement” with their fans. Brands are searching for experiences and ways to always improve, and that is a never-ending cycle of product enhancements.

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